How to Comply

Ready to Get Started?

All buildings with 50,000 square feet or more of nonresidential space (excluding parking) must comply with the Building Tune-Ups requirement every five years. For most buildings, this will require a tune-up. High performing buildings or buildings that have recently completed a tune-up equivalent project may be eligible for an alternative compliance pathway.

After April 1, 2019, all submittals will be done using the Seattle Services Portal. Up until then, you also have the option to submit the Microsoft Excel version of the Building Tune-Up Summary report or the PDF version of the Alternative Compliance request forms via email to BuildingTuneUps@seattle.gov. To submit a Tune-Up or Alternative Compliance request via the Seattle Services Portal, you will be required to enter a claim code that has been issued to the owner of record. Claim codes ensure the data collected is only visible to those who are authorized to access Tune-Up details.

Quick links:

How to comply chart

Tune-Up Your Building

Building Tune-Ups are assessments of building systems to detect and correct operational or maintenance problems. Tune-Ups must be conducted by a qualified Tune-Up Specialist (see below) and include the following steps:

  • Find a Qualified Tune-Up Specialist. A Tune-Up Specialist is a building energy professional with seven years of experience in energy management and one of several training or certification programs.
  • Conduct a Building Assessment. The Tune-Up Specialist will assess building systems and operations, review benchmarking data, and review water bills.
  • Identify Corrective Actions. The Tune-Up Specialist will identify required operational and maintenance improvements to the building and submit to the building owner.
  • Implement Corrective Actions. The building owner and Tune-Up Specialist will work to address all required corrective actions identified in the building assessment.
  • Verify Changes. The Tune-Up Specialist will verify that all corrected equipment and systems are functioning as intended.
  • Report to the City. The Tune-Up Specialist must complete the Seattle Building Tune-Ups Summary Report, review with the building owner, and submit to the City.

Hire a Tune-Up Specialist

A Tune-Up Specialist is a person qualified to conduct a tune-up assessment, identify required tune-up actions, perform tune-up actions and/or verify that tune-up actions were completed, and submit the Seattle Building Tune-Up report to the City of Seattle. There are many qualified Tune-Up Specialists in our area. If your building has a regular maintenance contract, they might be qualified to conduct a Tune-Up. Many mechanical and electrical engineers are qualified Tune-Up Specialists. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) is developing a directory of qualified Tune-Ups Specialists at www.neec.net. The City of Seattle cannot make any recommendations or referrals.

It is the responsibility of the building owner on record to confirm that the Tune-Up Specialist meets all qualifications. Tune-Up Specialists must meet the following qualifications:

At least seven years of experience, including educational and/or professional experience, with commercial building operations and/or building energy management.

AND

One of the following certifications:

CERTIFICATION CERTIFIED/LICENSED BY WEBSITE
Professional Engineer (PE) in mechanical or architectural engineering Washington State Department of Licensing per WAC 196-27A-020(2)(d) http://leg.wa.gov
Building Operator Certification (BOC) Level II Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) www.theboc.info
Certified Energy Manager Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) wwww.aeecenter.org
Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) Building Commissioning Certification Board (BCCB) www.bcxa.org
Commissioning Authority (CxA) AABC Commissioning Group (ACG) www.commissioning.org
Existing Building Commissioning Professional (EBCP) Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) www.aeecenter.org
Sustainable Building Science Technology Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) South Seattle College (SSC) www.southseattle.edu

Pursue Alternative Compliance

Alternative compliance, single-round waiver, and one-year extension requests are due 180 days prior to a building's Tune-Up compliance due date. Read each section below for more details. 

Alternative Compliance Options

We recognize that many building owners are making great strides toward achieving energy efficiency. To allow flexibility for owners, buildings with extremely low energy use or exemplary energy performance certifications such as LEED Operations and Maintenance (O+M) Gold or Platinum, Living Building, or a certified ENERGY STAR score (90+ for buildings 100K+ SF and 85+ for buildings 50-100K SF) can request compliance for a tune-up cycle. Similarly, owners that have recently completed work to improve the operational performance of the building can submit evidence of a tune-up equivalent project. Examples include continuous commissioning, implementation of ASHRAE Level II energy audit recommendations, or a recently completed retro-commissioning project. For more details on the Alternative Compliance options, see our Alternative Compliance handout or referenece OSE Director's Rule 2016-01

Visit the Seattle Building Tune-Ups Youtube Page to see brief presentations containing the details of each Alternative Compliance pathway.

Forms (available to submit to BuildingTuneUps@seattle.gov until April 1,2019, afterwhich you must instead submit via the Seattle Services Portal):

Exemplary Performance Options

Tune-Up Equivalent Options

If a request is denied, the building will remain subject to SMC 22.930 and required to Tune-Up by its assigned compliance deadline. 

Limited Single-Round Waivers and One-Year Extensions

For buildings permitted to be demolished, undergoing a major renovation, or in extreme financial distress, owners can apply for a waiver for a five year tune-up cycle. And under limited circumstances building owners can apply for a one year extension, including a change of ownership within one year of the deadline, high vacancy rates, permitted mechanical improvements, or if more time is needed to demonstrate a 15% EUI reduction. See our handout of waivers and extensions or OSE Director's Rule 2016-01 for more details.

Forms (available to submit to BuildingTuneUps@seattle.gov until April 1,2019, afterwhich you must instead submit via the Seattle Services Portal):

If a request is denied, the building will remain subject to SMC 22.930 and required to Tune-Up by its assigned compliance deadline.